Any accident drives the victim into a measurable condition. There are physical and financial damages one needs to face. Whether physical or monetary damage, it is always huge. As a result, it raises the question, is there a lawsuit to ensure you get the rightful compensation for your accident claim?
This is where the tort claim comes to the roleplay. Haven’t you heard the term or already heard it but have less idea? No worries. In the following article, we will discuss in detail what is a tort claim along with its types and associated information you need to know.
What is a Tort Claim?
Tort claim—an integral part of Canadian Civil Law—intends to ensure compensation for a person who has suffered an injury due to an accident. The suffering can be physical, emotional, physiological, or economic damages, based on one’s condition.
This kind of compensation claim is much broader and goes beyond what an insurance company must pay. As a result, a tort claim is often seen as an effort to obtain just compensation. That is, tort damages will be paid on top of any accident benefits and insurance claims.
What are the Components of a Tort Claim?
There are 4 basic components in a tort claim as follows:
- Duty of care: A person or entity (also known as the tortfeasor) owes the victim a duty.
- Breach of duty of care: The act of violating their duty of care by not performing it.
- Causation: The tortfeasor’s acts (or inactions) caused the accident to injure the victim.
- Injury: It is the accident-related injuries sustained by the victim.
Let’s consider an example here:
- Duty of care: A property owner is responsible for keeping walkways free of snow and ice.
- Breach: The owner neglected to salt the sidewalk despite knowing that many people will be walking on the icy surface.
- Causation: The uncleared ice is the reason for a victim’s slip and fall injury.
- Injury: The victim fractured their arm after falling on a dangerous sidewalk.
Apart from these basic four elements, the courts will assess the standard of care from the perspective of a reasonable person, determine if the damage or loss of property was predictable and identify any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
An accident is deemed a negligent tort when it results from someone else’s carelessness or negligence—for example, an accident caused by distracted driving.
What Does a Tort Claim Include?
A tort claim is a demand for compensation. This monetary compensation will help you recover from the harm due to the accident.
After an accident, filing a lawsuit is the most favoured choice you can ask for and win compensation for your actual losses. Insurance claims are limited and often don’t cover non-financial damages.
Below are some common types of compensation you can claim in a tort claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of wages (both present and future income)
- Future medical care and rehabilitation services
- Costs for caregiving
- Out-of-pocket costs
A tort claim enables you to protect your standard of living and your future. As a result, you no longer need to suffer the consequences of another person’s carelessness without being fairly rewarded.
There is a cap on the amount of non-pecuniary (non-quantifiable) damages that a court can grant. However, that doesn’t imply that the courts don’t acknowledge and support remedies for such damages.
You can talk with an experienced lawyer about your tort claim to see how much money you can receive as compensation for pain and suffering.
Some Common Examples of the Tort Case
Have a look at the most common examples of tort cases that are common in Canada.
- Car accident: A driver denies a stop sign in a school zone and hits you.
- Slip and fall: A wobbly railing causes you to slide downstairs on public or private property.
- Traumatic brain injury: You suffer a brain injury while walking on a footpath, and construction debris falls on your head.
- Bicycle accident: A dooring (sudden car door opening) causes you to crash.
- ATV accident: The throttle sticks open due to poor maintenance while riding in an ATV park, eventually hurting you.
- Dog bite: An aggressive dog bites you as the negligent pet owner lets off its chain in a crowded area.
Note: These are only a few examples. Several other cases can ideally fall under the tort claim based on the situation.
What are the Types of Tort Claims in Canada?
There are four kinds of tort claims in Canada. And based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the case, the court decides the type of tort.
Let’s know about them in detail:
1. Intentional tort
As the name implies, an intentional tort is one that a culprit intentionally commits. In other words, a person intends to injure someone. Defamation, fraud, sexual assault, etc., are common examples of intentional tort.
An intentional tort is much more serious than an accidental/ unintentional one. As a result, the punishment given for an intentional tort could be significantly more. The culprit can be subject to criminal and civil liability based on the circumstances.
2. Unintentional tort
When an offender injures another person negligently, this is an unintentional tort. In other words, they disregard the norms and duty of care that would be appropriate under the given conditions. The defendant eventually suffered physical harm as a result of this failure. Any kind of car or motor vehicle accident is a common unintentional tort.
Due to unintentional tort claims, the punishment is typically less severe than the intentional one. However, the number of damages awarded can still be pretty high, based on how severely the wrongful act injured the claimant.
3. Strict liability torts
Some occupations carry such a high risk that it is not essential to identify a fault to grant compensation. These are known strict liability torts—for example, stunt driving.
By law, you cannot cross more than 50 km/h. So, here the lawyer needs to show that you exceeded the speed limit owing to a performance for stunt driving.
Another such instance is dog bites. According to the Dog Owners Liability Act, even though there are various defences, the victim isn’t obliged to show that the dog’s owner was careless if their dog bites someone or a domestic animal.
4. Economic torts
They are also known as business torts. These torts offer common law guidelines for liability resulting from commercial contracts and transactions. Some examples of economic torts are trade libel, conspiracy, and negligent fabrication.
Personal injury is never a component of economic tort claims; instead, they focus only on the economic damages. In short, they offer a defence against actions the law considers inappropriate for a person’s profession or industry.
This kind of tort claim can be divided into the following three categories:
- Interfering with contractual relations involves soliciting a breach of the agreement, which is the same as causing one.
- Causing monetary loss by illegal means.
Tort vs Crime: What’s the Difference?
Tort claims fall under civil law rather than criminal law. This means that instead of requesting punishment from the tortfeasor, the victim files a civil lawsuit against them, claiming compensation (or other suitable damages).
Have a look at the three key differences between tort and crime:
A crime is defined as unlawful conduct that significantly impacts the entire social structure of our communities. On the other hand, Torts are defined as wrongdoings committed against specific individuals.
Torts can be unintended and can frequently involve careless mishaps. This negligence undoubtedly still has the potential to severely harm the victim of the accident.
For this reason, torts are tested in civil court, and damages are measured depending on the victim’s losses from damages and the extent of wrongs linked with the tort.
In contrast, a crime is a deliberate and planned act that directly impacts society. Such as, there are instances where an innocent person greatly suffers as a result of criminal activity. Most crimes are usually explicit acts of defiance against the law to profit from a particular infraction.
3. Effect on the Society
Although the effects of crimes and torts on society significantly vary, the impact will always be harmful regardless of the situation.
A tort is an act that ultimately jeopardizes the well-being of another person, who subsequently sues the criminal and seeks additional compensation. On the other hand, crime has a larger-than-life impact on society. As a result, state law always tries to impose criminal laws to ensure that offenders receive just punishment for their crimes.
How to Pursue a Tort Claim?
You can file a tort claim against the person who caused you to harm by completing the below-mentioned things:
- Get medical attention and care for your wounds as soon as possible to save your health and maintain your compensation claim.
- Collect all kinds of proof and supporting documents for your claim.
- Review and consult your situation with a lawyer
- Allow your lawyer to submit the claim and handle all interactions with the insurance providers. So you can concentrate on getting better while your lawyer takes care of the case.
Compensation For Tort Claims
A tort claim is a claim for financial compensation (sometimes known as damages) for loss caused by personal harm. The goal of compensation is to return the plaintiff to the financial situation he or she was in before the personal injury.
When you file a tort claim against another person for financial compensation, that person’s insurance company may compensate your losses.
The following are some examples of financial compensation available as a result of intentional or unintentional tort claims:
- Suffering and pain as a result of psychological and physical injuries.
- Loss of life enjoyment Medical expenses (past and future)
- Caregiving expenses incurred and anticipated
- Wages were lost (past and future)
Consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your tort claim is correctly presented to the court and that you receive the highest payment.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know what is a tort claim. Whether you are a victim of a car accident or slip and fall, you must always file for a tort claim at the civil court to get the justice you deserve.
It is not your fault that you will suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Besides, it is your legal right to fight for your rightful compensation. So, why settle for any less?
For any kind of doubts, make sure to get legal support from the start. An experienced lawyer can help you from the start in settling your claim to ensure you get the rightful compensation you deserve, ultimately making things much simpler and hassle-free for you.
Check out the most commonly asked questions regarding tort claims:
What is tort settlement?
Tort claims are compensation requests made by a victim against the party responsible for all the losses s/he is suffering. These are legal claims that involve all forms of damages, excluding contractual breaches.
What is a tort claim in Canada?
A tort claim, which is a crucial component of Canadian civil law, aims to provide compensation for the victim of an accident. Unlike criminal law, it focuses on ensuring compensation for the victim from the persons who caused the harm. Car and truck accidents and faulty products are the most frequent subjects of tort lawsuits.
What distinguishes a lawsuit from a tort claim?
A tort claim is typically an informal notice of claim that may result in an informal settlement without the expense of any sort of litigation. On the other hand, a lawsuit is a formal case filed in the relevant court of law.